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Stress and Aging: How To Stop Stress from Aging You

January 04, 2018

The effects of stress on health are devastating. It decreases immune response, raises blood pressure, and can lead to anxiety or depression.

The newest research shows stress also speeds up the aging process. Research finds high stress and anxiety actually shortens the length of DNA telomere strands, a hallmark of early aging.

As DNA telomeres shorten, their structure is weakened, causing cells to age more quickly or die.

In one study, the difference in telomere lengths for women of the same age who were highly phobic versus not phobic was equal to six years of aging!

Other research finds untreated depression can shorten DNA telomeres, and increases risk for heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and stroke.

Could Stress Be Aging You?

Aging is a normal body process. However, there’s no question that some people age faster than others. Poor nutrition clearly plays a role in early aging, but so does a high stress lifestyle.

Here are just a few body signs and symptoms of early aging to watch for:

  • Premature skin wrinkling or thinning
  • Brown spots on the hands, face or chest
  • Arthritis (osteo)
  • Low energy/Low libido
  • Blood sugar disorders like insulin resistance or diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Slow healing (from cuts, scrapes, bruises, colds and flu)
  • Early menopause
  • Poor circulation
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Unexplained weight gain (from imbalanced cortisol production)

How To Stop Stress From Aging You

While we can’t stop the aging process, we can take protective steps to make sure our bodies remain healthy and vital well past middle age.

If you feel like stress is aging you, start today to safeguard your health with natural therapies.

Here are a few choices:

Try Mindfulness Meditation.

Begin and end each day with a meditation practice. A guided meditation doesn’t take very long, yet it’s one of the best ways to relieve chronic stress.

If you struggle to meditate alone, consider a meditation group. After awhile, you may find meditation has changed your entire life and outlook for the good!

Use Positive Affirmations.

Affirmations retrain your brain to think positively. Negative thinking patterns are often so ingrained into us we hardly notice them.

Pay attention to your internal dialogue. Do you say hurtful or negative things to yourself? Switch up your internal dialogue to be positive.

Pick out some affirmations to try and write them down. Keep them on your desk or posted on a mirror. Say them at least twice a day, or whenever you need a mood lift. Here are a few simple examples:

I am enough.

I am confident and capable.

I greet my day with happiness and amazement.

I find this approach has really helped me to manage stressful emotions on busy days.

Get Regular Massage.

Massage therapy is powerful medicine for chronic stress. Massage treatments help to increase production of mood elevating chemicals like serotonin and oxytocin.

One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine finds regular massage treatments could add as many as 6 years to your total lifespan by lowering blood pressure.

Experience Aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy uses the power of scent to heal and relax your body. It can be a very effective tool to help manage stress.

Essential oils from plants like lavender, lemon balm, and jasmine all have unique benefits for your emotional well being, and have been used in healing for centuries.

Note that essential oils are very concentrated. Just use a few drops in an aromatherapy diffuser or rub them (diluted with a carrier oil like almond oil) on the feet or body.

Try a Stress Daily tonic with herbs like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Skullcap.

Herbs help to nourish nervous system health, and can be used to calm acute stress. Taken over time, herbs can even help the body to become resilient to stressors. You will feel the difference with herbs for stress.

Round up

The role of stress in premature aging is significant. A stress reduction plan can increase your well being, and may help you to live longer.

For a long, healthy life, take an active role in keeping your stress levels low.

It’s important to note that diet is another major factor in early aging. Use your stress reduction therapies with an anti-aging Immune Dietfor the best results.



  • Bergland, C. (2014, April). Emotional distress can speed up aging. Retrieved from Psychology Today,
  • Gregoire, C. (2013, April). Stress and aging: 5 ways chronic stress can affect the aging process.
  • Retrieved from Huffington Post,
  • Hansen. F. (2015, May). Stress and aging: The latest research. Retrieved from The Adrenal Fatigue Solution,
  • Kaye, A.D., Kaye, A.J., Swinford, J., Baluch, A., Bawcom, B.A., Lambert, T.J., & Hoover, J.M.. (2008, March). The effect of deep-tissue massage therapy on blood pressure and heart rate. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine; 14(2),125-8. Retrieved from